• John Locke Update

    Leandro Lunacy: An Appointed Judge Declares War on the Elected Members of the Legislature

    posted October 21, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Judge David Lee recently and unexpectedly declared that the General Assembly is an unnamed defendant in the long-running Leandro case. The General Assembly has never been a party to the Leandro lawsuit, and Judge Lee has never identified them as such during his five years of oversight of the case. Despite calling for a “cooperative effort” with the legislature in April, Judge Lee plans to penalize the General Assembly for failing to approve a budget that does not include all components of the court-approved remedial plan.
  • John Locke Update

    Ten Reasons Why Lawmakers Should Reject the Leandro Plan and Fund Students, Not Systems

    posted October 12, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Gov. Cooper likely would sign a state budget that includes the first two years of a multi-billion-dollar plan developed by a California-based consulting firm without input from legislators. Lawmakers should reject Cooper’s offer because the court-ordered plan is an affront to the constitutional authority of the General Assembly to direct taxpayer dollars. Rather than concede to a consulting firm’s plan favored by an unelected judge, lawmakers should continue to empower parents by expanding public and private school choice options.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper Must Decide If the Leandro Plan Is a State Budget Deal-Breaker

    posted October 4, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    The $1.9 billion Leandro school funding plan will be the focus of budget negotiations between Gov. Cooper and lawmakers. Cooper wants a state budget that funds every dollar of the court-ordered plan, and budget conferees from the House and Senate do not. If the legislature does not pass a budget that includes the entire Leandro plan by October 18, Judge David Lee promised to use the court’s “remedial powers to secure such funding.”
  • John Locke Update

    Four Key Differences Between the House, Senate, and Cooper Budget Plans

    posted September 13, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The North Carolina General Assembly is still finalizing a two-year budget. Budget proposals from the House, Senate, and governor would have varying effects on North Carolina’s fiscal future. Spending restraint, tax cuts, and considerable savings would contribute to more opportunities and bigger paychecks for North Carolina families.
  • John Locke Update

    Should North Carolina Restore Salary Supplements for Master’s Degrees?

    posted August 26, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    The state House budget would restore salary supplements for public school educators with a master’s degree. Decades of empirical research failed to establish a relationship between master’s degrees and student performance. Possible research-based compromises include restoring master’s pay for teachers who obtain their degrees in their teaching subject or supporting teachers who pursue National Board Certification.
  • John Locke Update

    An Overview of the N.C. House Education Budget

    posted August 12, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    House budget writers proposed a $25.7 billion biennial budget that would grant an average 5.5% raise to teachers and give multiple bonuses. The House budget would expand private school choice and ease regulations on public charter schools. Lawmakers propose extensive measures to augment academic transparency and accountability.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • John Locke Update

    How Not to Argue Against Tax Cuts

    posted June 30, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Despite weak opposition to the Senate tax plan, tax cuts benefit more than just the one with the reduced legal tax liability. Low- and median-income households receive a much larger benefit from the Senate’s rate cuts.
  • John Locke Update

    A Closer Look at Education in the Senate Budget Plan

    posted June 23, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    The Senate budget plan would address current education spending needs, increase salaries for teachers and education personnel and offer bonuses, and increase all steps of base teacher salaries. It would also expand eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships, raise the value of the scholarships, and increase the annual payment to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve. These are steps in the right direction, but the budget needs to be more responsive to parents seeking additional educational options and other ways to redress the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the education of our children.

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